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VirtualCol Releases Embraer 170/175 Series for MSFS

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VirtualCol has released their second aircraft for Microsoft Flight Simulator. After their Beechcraft Model 99 Series, the company has now released their Embraer 170/175 Series. The package includes 3 models: the ERJ170, ERJ175 and the ERJ175 with extended winglets. The package comes with a large number of high quality liveries.

Other features included are mostly related to external features of the vehicle. VirtualCol makes no secret of it, but this plane does not simulate internal or system behaviour of an Embraer. The systems are that of a default aircraft template, although modified to resemble an Embraer. The FMS is that used by the default A320 Neo to make the plane easier to use.

The VirtualCol Embraer 170/175 Series is available for €20,98 from SimMarket. Owners of the previous FSX/P3D version of the plane can get the plane for a small discount at €16,79. The product does not include a (flying) manual, but instead some YouTube videos have been created to get you up to speed with flying this plane.

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SimToolKitPro Updated to Version 0.7.X

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SimToolKitPro has been updated with the “single largest performance update” to date. The new update has a big focus on performance improvements, along with a new user dashboard and a reworked live map page.

The new update from SimToolKit has a brand new map that has been enhanced for speed and efficiency. Furthermore, there are new import options for those looking to bring your flight logs from other platforms or services.

In the announcement post, Dan from SimToolKitPro said that “this is just the start” with more features and performance improvements coming soon. In particular, Dan wants to improve the user experience when flying with a VA or friends, with more interactive elements coming soon.

Currently, SimToolKitPro is on version 0.7.3, with new patches being made available through the application when there is an update.

For those who don’t know, SimToolKitPro is a freeware tool that enables you to track your flight, plan future flights, monitor your fleet and much more. It supports all major simulators and also multiple operating systems. You can see an overview (albeit an older version) here.

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KVNY Van Nuys Airport By Orbx Released for MSFS

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Following on from the announcement earlier this month, Orbx has released KVNY Van Nuys Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Developed by Matteo Veneziani, the world’s busiest general aviation airport has come to life in the simulator.

Located in the Van Nuys neighbourhood in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Van Nuys Airport (KVNY) is considered one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, averaging about 230’000 takeoffs and landings on a good year. Although not seeing any commercial operations, the airport plays host to many news, medical & tour helicopter operators, many of which are also based at the airfield.

With Van Nuys being located near Hollywood, it comes as no surprise that the field has been featured repeatedly in cinematographic displays, most prominent among which was its display in the historical and monumental flic Casablanca (1942) and, more recently, in the well-known action movie Executive Decision (1996).

The scenery makes use of the latest MSFS SDK features. It comes included with, among others, high-resolution PBR textures used throughout, new unique & GSE static aircraft types, as well as carefully crafted recreations of the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant, the Van Nuys Airport Observation Area, The Park VNY, Los Angeles Fire Dept. and Airtel Plaza Hotel.

You can buy KVNY Van Nuys Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator now from OrbxDirect for $22.72 AUD (approximately US$17.03 | €14,34 | £12.32).

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Pyreegue Announces Edinburgh Airport for MSFS

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Developer Pyreegue Dev. Co has announced that they are developing Edinburgh Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The busy Scottish airport sees traffic from all around the world. Including domestic carriers, low-cost airlines and also from further afield. There’s a lot of variety in terms of routing available from the airport. The airport’s satellite imagery is sourced from 2016, but the new south ramp and terminal expansions are included in this product.

The team confirmed that the airport product will be “feature-rich” and come with a fully modelled interior and detailed apron. Some previews highlighting the level of detail were shown off on the Orbx forums.

Whilst Pyreegue has confirmed the development of the airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator, they said there is a possibility that it may be ported to X-Plane 11 in the future. However, there’s no “promise” of that.

We’ll continue to follow the progress and keep you informed.

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Orbx Releases Iceland Mesh as Freeware for MSFS

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Following on from the recent release of the latest World Update for Microsoft Flight Simulator, Orbx has released a new Iceland mesh product for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The new mesh product has been created with blended DEM data meaning that Iceland now looks even more realistic than it did before.

The product is described as “100% self-contained” and makes no changes to any other mesh in the scenery. Furthermore, Orbx says that there is “virtually no noticeable performance impact” when using the product, making it a no-brainer to download and install. Iceland Mesh is fully compatible with the latest world update and each level of detail mode is consistent meaning there won’t be any blurring when flying around.

You can download Iceland Mesh for free through OrbxDirect right now by simply signing into your Orbx account.

If you’re after additional mesh products, check out Orbx’s New Zealand Mesh for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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PMDG DC-6 for MSFS Released

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After a relatively short marketing period, PMDG has released its DC-6 for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Leveraging the Microsoft Flight Simulator engine to the fullest, the team has brought an in-depth simulation of the vintage airliner to the platform. The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner that was first introduced in 1947. Since its introduction, it has seen over 700 built and used by airliners around the world operating short and long-haul operations. It typically requires a crew of 3 and can fly around 4,000nm at a speed of 315mph.

Included with the package is both the DC-6A and the DC-6B, both of which are realistically modelled and highly detailed. Realistic animations, detailed modelling and PBR materials make up the externals of the aircraft, whilst the inside has been replicated to an extreme level of detail. The flight modelling and engines have been designed to a high level of realism, whilst aircraft systems are also just as in-depth with a realistic fuel and electrical bus system. The aircraft will also stun with impressive night lighting both inside and out.

The DC-6 is not your typical airliner and requires an acute level of experience to fly it. However, PMDG has included multiple options and configurations to help make it an easy aircraft for anyone to pilot. Not only that but an Articifical Flight Engineer can also be used to help manage systems onboard the aircraft. Furthermore, you can access a complete manual and online tutorial videos teaching you how to fly as well as with flight planning.

This is PMDG’s first aircraft for Microsoft Flight Simulator in a line of products destined for the simulator. You can buy the DC-6 now from PMDG’s store for $59.99 with a sale going on for $54.99. The aircraft will only be available through PMDG’s store and won’t be made available through any other services for the next few months.

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Next Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update Will Focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland

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A new development blog post was shared by Microsoft overnight and whilst the post itself was quite short, the development roadmap shared revealed quite a lot about what is coming up next. Perhaps most significantly is the confirmation that World Update VI will focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

As with previous World Updates, we imagine that Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be updated with new aerial imagery, mesh data and of course, plenty of new points of interest to discover. Furthermore, there will most likely be new hand-crafted airports ready to fly into upon its release on August 24th 2021.

Update @ 09:20z: On the most recent developer Q&A, Jorg and Martial shared new screenshots of World Update VI and confirmed that 3 cities (including Vienna) will be updated with photogrammetry. Along with that, new airports were also confirmed, which are:

  • Klagenfurt Airport (LOWK)
  • Lubeck Airport (EDHL)
  • St. Gallen–Altenrhein Airport (LSZR)

In other news, Sim Update V is due to release the same day as Microsoft Flight Simulator will be coming to Xbox Series X|S. Details on exactly what Sim Update V will do hasn’t been shared, but it would be fair to speculate that it perhaps adds DirectX 12 capability to the simulator. After all, it has been previously said that the Xbox version of the simulator would be built using the DirectX 12 API. Having a more modern engine will certainly help the simulator run at the base 30FPS on consoles confirmed by Microsoft. However, it should be reiterated that the current feedback snapshot simply lists DirectX 12 under a 2021 release window and that work has only “started.”

Between the Xbox release and World Update VI, the team will also be releasing the Aviat Huskey A-1C on the 3rd of August 2021. Following that, September will see the release of Sim Update VI along with two new Feature Discover Series updates. Those details are very much to be confirmed at this point. You can see the full development roadmap below.

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If you don’t already know by now, Microsoft Flight Simulator will be released on Xbox Series X|S on July 27th 2021 and Top Gun DLC will be released for all platforms later on this year. Otherwise, check out the newly released World Update V which saw the Nordics get a complete makeover.

From now until the Xbox Series X|S release on July 27th, the roadmap looks mostly empty other than updates on the feedback snapshot and SDK updates. Last, but not least, you can watch Xbox Games Showcase Extended where Jorg talks all about the simulator and some of its future.

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World Update V: Nordics Now Available for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator has been updated to version 1.17.3.0 and launches alongside World Update V: Nordics. The long-awaited World Update sees Europe’s Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden updated with new airports, imagery and points of interest to discover.

In total 77 new points of interest have been added across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. These new points of interest include the likes of Egeskov Castle, Lego House, Oland Bridge, Kiruna Church, Helsinki Cathedral, the Arctic Cathedral and Hvitserkur. Furthermore, five new hand-crafted airports have been added to the simulator. These airports are:

  • Bornholm Airport, Denmark (EKRN)
  • Ísafjörður Airport (BIIS)
  • Svalbard Airport, Norway (ENSB)
  • Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden (ESSA)
  • Vaasa Airport, Finland (EFVA)

Further to the points of interest and new airports developed, new partner Perfect Flight has included 5 new landing challenges and bush trips that take you across the entire region. Each of the new trips has been created to show off these locations in the best way possible and give you yet another reason to fly.

World Update V: The Nordics can be downloaded for free through the in-sim Marketplace now.

Further to the World Update being added, version 1.17.3.0 also includes the new AIRAC cycle (2106) added, along with a fix for airport vehicles where users couldn’t request fuel trucks.

For more on the simulator, checkout the upcoming Top Gun DLC coming to the simulator. Otherwise, you can read how the Xbox version of the simulator will run at 30FPS and the fact it’s releasing in July.

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Captain Sim Releases 777-300ER for MSFS

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Following on from the release of its 777-200ER for Microsoft Flight Simulator, Captain Sim has released its 777-300ER for the simulator. The twin-engine jet is the biggest (so far) in the 777 series and can carry up to 550 passengers (although typically ranges up to 380) at a typical speed of mach 0.84.

As with their previous release, this is mostly just a model add-on with animations throughout. The aircraft product uses the default 747-8 systems and simulation, with no comment on what improvements have been made since the 777-200ER came with many bugs upon release. The product comes with a virtual cabin, high definition textures and uses the simulator’s icing and rain systems.

It’s also confirmed that you can buy the 777-300ER as a standalone product and you are not required to own the 777-200ER to be able to use this product.

We were not impressed with Captain Sim’s offering with the 777-200ER and we can’t see there to be many changes with the -300ER other than the obvious modelling changes. That said, this is $10 cheaper and doesn’t require any base packs, which suggests that perhaps they are taking feedback into account.

If you feel like the 777-300ER by Captain Sim would make for a good addition to your sim, you can buy it from their store for $19.99 USD.

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PMDG DC-6 for MSFS Release Date Announced

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Over on the PMDG forums, Robert Randazzo made an announcement regarding the companies anticipated Douglas DC-6 Cloudmaster. Randazzo announced that the plane has completed development and will release for Microsoft Flight Simulator on Friday, June 18th. Randazzo and PMDG are very excited about their first release for the new platform. A platform that, according to Randazzo’s announcement, does a magnificent job of capturing the beauty of the DC-6. With the release, the plane will become the most detailed one in the PMDG line-up.

Upon release, the plane will include features such as the Automated Flight Engineer, making the plane accessible for those less experienced with the DC-6. This feature, just like in previous versions, is optional, and you can also opt to fly the plane and handle the more complex tasks yourself.

The pricing, as well as the exact time this Friday when the plane will release, are still pending. These will be announced shortly before the release.

Anticipating the release, Twitch streamers The Flying Fabio as well as Chewy will be previewing and live streaming the plane.

Edit (CM): Added release date video.

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